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Judge orders 2 brothers and their companies to comply with law after 68 citations from WorkSafeBC

Asbestos is shown. ( Asbestos is shown. (

A B.C. judge has ordered two Metro Vancouver brothers and their asbestos abatement companies to stop violating the provincial Workers Compensation Act and related regulations.

The Workers' Compensation Board of B.C. – better known as WorkSafeBC – sought an injunction against Rajesh and Gagandeep Joshi and their companies E H Z Pre-Demolition Ltd. and AMK Environmental (2017) Ltd.

The board cited a long history of orders and penalties issued against the companies for contraventions of the regulations.

In a decision issued Tuesday, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Nitya Iyer granted the agency's request, ordering the brothers and their companies to stop breaking the rules. 

The judge considered 10 separate worksites – five for each company – at which WorkSafeBC had issued orders and administrative penalties between Jan. 31, 2019 and Sept. 21, 2021.

During that time, there were 27 orders and four administrative penalties issued for the AMK worksites and 31 orders and five administrative penalties for the EHZ worksites.

The sanctions related to violations of 30 different provisions of the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, ranging from the employer's general duty to ensure the health and safety of workers to specific duties regarding the handling and disposal of asbestos, airflow at worksites and record-keeping, among others.

WorkSafeBC also issued one personal order against Gagandeep Joshi and two against Rajesh Joshi.

For their part, the brothers took issue with "virtually every aspect of the board's case," Iyer wrote in her decision.

They told the court that WorkSafeBC had not proven the contraventions it alleged in its orders and that much of its evidence should be deemed inadmissible.

Iyer opted to exclude several worksites that the board had included in its allegations against the brothers, but she was still left with the 10 at which she concluded there were reasonable grounds to believe the alleged breaches had occurred.

The brothers also argued that WorkSafeBC should not be granted the injunction it sought because it had not demonstrated that other, less severe enforcement measures had been inadequate.

The judge dismissed this argument, writing:

"The evidence amply demonstrates the ineffectiveness of less severe enforcement measures against the respondents. Commencing in January 2019, the orders reflected the progressive enforcement model, from compliance orders to stop work orders and administrative penalties that increased in amount. The evidence shows that they were not effective."

Given this, Iyer wrote that she had "no confidence" that the retraining the Joshi brothers had been required to take would change their pattern of conduct.

"They completed that retraining in June 2020, yet orders against worksites under their supervision continued," Iyer wrote. "They were required to take further retraining in the fall of 2021 because of further breaches."

Having reached this conclusion and determined that the injunction WorkSafeBC requested was not overbroad, Iyer granted it. She also awarded court costs to the board. Top Stories

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